Marc Marquez has already lost one of his engines from his allocation of five for the season. The engine in the bike Marquez was forced to park against pit wall during qualifying at Austin can no longer be used, Marquez admitted to MotoMatters.com.
The engine problem occurred during Marquez' qualifying run at the Grand Prix of the Americas in Austin. As Marquez was about to start a hot lap, he saw a warning light come on on the dashboard of his Honda RC213V. The world champion had been told by his HRC engineers that if he saw that light, he was to stop as quickly as possible, which he duly did. The problem forced him to sprint back to his pit box, leap on his spare bike, and race out of the pits for a last-gasp dash for pole. It resulted in a spectacular lap, which gave him pole position, from which he went on to take a convincing win.
The engine from that bike was taken from Austin straight to Japan, where HRC engineers examined it as best they could, without breaking the seals. After the press conference at Jerez, I asked Marquez if he had heard whether the problem was with the engine or the gearbox. "I don't know," Marquez replied, "but we cannot use it any more."
That leaves Marquez with just four healthy engines with which to complete the season. That should normally not be a particular problem. Last year, Alvaro Bautista lost two RC213V engines in the space of four races, leaving him with three engines to complete the season. Bautista completed the last ten races of the season using just two engines. Marquez' engines should be reliable enough to get him to the end of the season without being forced to take an extra engine, and incur the penalty of starting the race from pit lane. But it will mean that his crew will have to be slightly more conservative, in terms of engine wear and revs, saving laps from time to time. It also means that Marquez cannot really afford to lose another engine.